Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Wanted (2008)

Watched this movie 3 times! It now belongs on my Top 5 all-time favourite movie! Nuff said.

If you want to know more about this movie, check out the links below.

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Hidden Blade (2004)

A very slow moving movie. If you want a typical hack and slash samurai movie, this one is not it.

I do not know why the title of the movie poster says, "The Hidden Blade" and below it the Chinese/Japanese character for "love". I think "honour" would be a better choice.

Anyway, this is definitely not my kind of movie. Story line is predictable and boring! Had to fast-forward certain scenes... but acting is good though.

More information:

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Hideo Gosha's Hitokiri

Hitokiri is a disturbing (at least to me) movie released in 1968 by Hideo Gosha. It was subsequently released in 1970 as Tenchu (Heaven's Punishment) in the US.

Takechi Hanpei lead the Tosa Samurais against the Shogunate.

Some of the main characters of the movie, Tanaka Shinbei and Okada Izō, were based on actual Japanese historic figures, with the latter being the main protagonist.

Hitori literally means "assassins or killer" in English and these characters were based on the exploit of the famous Four Hitokiri of the Bakumatsu.

In the movie, the main character, Okada Izō, is potrayed as a faithful dog that does the bidding of the master until he realised that the master has turned against him.

The first ever rebellious words uttered by Okada Izō against his master, Takechi Hanpei .

The movie invoked pity for the central character when it was revealed that he seek to win the heart of an aristocrat woman by killing as many people as possible for the "Tosa cause", thus his blinding loyalty to Takechi Hanpei.

Okada Izō gets his redemption and revenge.

In the beginning, it took me a while to get use to the way this movie was presented. As the story unfolded, one start to understand the madness. Understanding a little bit of the Japanese history does help to put things in perspective. All in all, it was an enjoyable movie... :-)

More Information:

Friday, August 1, 2008

HBO's True Blood

Recently, I saw a preview of True Blood, a new HBO series that is set to release on September 9 this year. In True Blood, vampires come out of hiding and are living among the humans, and are fighting for equal rights and affirmative actions.

The promotion poster for HBO's True Blood series.

The main cast, Vampire Bill (Stephen Moyer) and Sookie (Anna Paquin) the telepath.

The premise for the vampires to come out of hiding and living among the humans is due to the new Japanese invention, Tru Blood (a substitute for human blood), supposedly enabling the vampires to live without preying on their once upon a time food source, the humans.

Tru Blood advertisements.

Vampire equal rights posters

I can imagine the many varied and interesting story lines and possible directions for the series to take.

News Report of vampires.

Trublood - Suck it Up! advertisements.

Chinese vampire appeals for peace.

According to news sources, a "rough version of the pilot has been released/leaked online." I cannot imagine that the leak is not part of its viral marketing campaign strategy that True Blood is now well known for through the states... :-)

More Information:

Thursday, July 24, 2008

No bones to pick with Bonekickers

Last night, after checking my emails, I decided to sit myself down for a new 6 episodes TV series from BBC One called Bonekickers.

The cast of Bonekickers.

Episode 1: Army Of God début on BBC One on July 8th. Episode 3: The Eternal Fire was just broadcasted this week.

Bonekickers trailer.

If the début episode is anything to go by, I would describe the Bonekickers series as a cross between several of my favourites - National Treasure, The Da Vinci Code, The Mummy, Relic Hunter and a high dose of The Adventures of Indiana Jones. The pace of this first episode is well maintained with screen time spent on introducing the main characters as well as explaining and elaborating the story line.

Most importantly, each episodes is crafted based on "real" history as is known in the "real" archeological world... LOL. I have been intrigue and like movies or stories based on controversial "non-fiction/fiction" literary works like The Blood and The Holy Grail, The Messianic Legacy, Vicars of Christ, The Da Vinci Code and The Dead Sea Scrolls Deception.

This first episode received a lot of negative reviews from all the established critics. So far, I really enjoyed the show and I definitely want to see more! It is entertainment and it is entertaining as it was meant to be.

Julie Graham as Dr Gillian Magwilde.

I am very keen to find out more about Dr Gillian Magwilde, the central character of this series. Her past and the mystery of her mother's legacy is something I look forward to finding out.

I vote you watch it!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

On the FRINGE!

Last night I managed to watch the début episode of a new TV series called Fringe. It is a new series from the creators of Lost and Alias; JJ Abrams, Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman.

Right now, all I can tell from watching this first episode is that there are strange things happening all the world, more than the conventional biological terrorism. And that the government have been involved in secret experiments that border on the "fringe" of currently established sciences.

This début episode shows how the main characters are brought together by needs and circumstances.

The cast of Fringe.

My first impression of Fringe is that, it reminded me a lot of X-Files and maybe a little of Twilight Zone. X-Files, because, it looked like it is going to be similar to Mulder's unending quest to find his "abducted" sister.

In Fringe, it is Agent Olivia Dunham's quest to find the "pattern" and the secret workings and knowledge of a corporation called Mega Dynamics.

This is a dialogue between Nina Sharp (an executive of Mega Dynamics) and an orderly at the end of the episode.

Looking down at the dead body on the stretcher, Nina Sharp asked, "How long has he been dead?"
"Five hours," replied the orderly.
She looked down at the dead body, then she said, "Question him."

Now, if that is not a good "cliff-hanger" I don't know what is. I need to watch the next episode which is scheduled to be released on 9th September. I need it bad! So bad that I am hurting now!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Discovering Akira Kurosawa

It took me 41 years of my life before I discover Akira Kurosawa. That was 5 years ago when I first saw the Seven Samurai.

Much has been said about the genius of Akira Kurosawa as a writer, editor, director and story teller. I have totally nothing to add, except to say that I really enjoy and admire his work.

The Seven Samurai poster.

Only recently, after watching Samurai Wolf (Kiba okaminosuke), did I renew my interest in Japanese Samurai movies. I managed to get my hands on Yojimbo (The Bodyguard), Sanjuro and Rashomon.

Yojimbo (The Bodyguard) poster.

Sanjuro poster.

Rashomon poster.

All these three movies were beautifully crafted and presented. They were way ahead of their time. I am still looking for the rest of Akira Kurosawa's repertoire of movies! And I intend to savor and slowly digest each and everyone of them when I get them.

Samurai Wolf (Kiba okaminosuke) 1 & 2

Only just recently, about 3 months ago, did I start renewing my interest in Japanese Anime, and that was when I recently discovered and viewed a Japanese movie and it's sequel in succession.

The movies were Samurai Wolf (Kiba okaminosuke) 1 & 2 directed by Hideo Gosha, and they just completely blew me away. I could not get enough of them!!! The Furious Wolf was just so charismatic! Dare I compare him to my all time favourite movie character, Han Solo? Yes I would and they would be on equal footing!

The last time I saw a Japanese black and white movie was the Seven Samurai by Akira Kurosawa and that was 5 years ago.

The director of Samurai Wolf, is a contemporary of Akira Kurosawa. I am definitely not a scholar of movie history, but I think their movies probably catered to the trends of their times, solo samurai antiheroes. And if you are a fan of Samurai movies, YOU HAVE JUST GOT TO SEE THESE TWO MOVIES!

Samurai Wolf (Kiba okaminosuke) 1 poster.

Samurai Wolf (Kiba okaminosuke) 2 poster.

Scenes from the first Samurai Wolf

Kiba arrived at the village.

Lady Chise trying to convince Kiba, The Furious Wolf, to help protect her relay station and it's routes.

Scenes from the sequel.

The above fight sequences were beautifully choreographed.

In another scene, Kiba The Furious Wolf, adopting a defensive stance.

After researching on the Internet, I found very little information about Hideo Gosha. But I did find out that he directed a number of very successful ones. I have to go get them... :-)

Here are some information on Hideo Gosha:

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Middleman

The Middleman is a new ABC series for families. It is currently airing the 5th episodes. I really like the Men in Black concept behind the show.

According to fans, it seems that The Middleman started out as a TV script that became a comic before being made into a TV series... make sense? LOL.

The Middleman comic, first issue.

Usually, I will watch a few episodes before I decide if I really like the series enough to continue downloading it. So far, I have downloaded all five episodes and have only watch the 2nd episode.

I dunno if I have the right words, but I find the show rather "slap-stick" in nature. Almost similar to Pushing Daisy. I gave up watching Pushing Daisy after the 9th or 10th episodes.

The "speech or sound" of The Middleman dialogues reminded me of Ugly Betty's... LOL. Anyway, I hope The Middlemen will be much better than Pushing Daisy, because I really like the concept behind it.

Natalie Morales as Wendy Watson. She was recruited by The Middleman in the 1st episode. That was fun to watch.

Matt Keeslar as The Middleman.

In Episode 1, The Middleman showing Wendy why she was selected as the sidekick.

A very interesting character, Ida, The Middleman's robot assistant.

More about The Middleman:

Monday, July 7, 2008

Lone Wolf and Cub TV Series

I managed to get my hands of Episode 1 to 11 of the 1970s Japanese TV series, Lone Wolf and Cub. Originally published as a manga, it has been made into various movies and TV series in Japan. The manga was wonderfully drawn and the memorable characters exquisite.

Ogami Ittō and his son, Ogami Daigoro, in the manga.

Ogami Ittō and his son, Ogami Daigoro in Episode 7, The Guns of Sakai.

Ogami Ittō and his son, Ogami Daigoro in Episode 7, The Guns of Sakai.

Ogami Ittō injured in Episode 8, The Castle Wall Attack.

Ogami Ittō saving the woman from being killed for eavesdropping in Episode 10, Baby Cart on the River Styx.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 11 episodes. There are more than 70 episodes for this particular production. Unfortunately, I do not think I will be able to get my hands on the rest of them.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

My Television and My Notebook

My television and my notebook are the two most important gadgets that I rely on for work, research and entertainment.

My all important notebook at home. (Gonna move to Ubuntu 8 soon... :-)

My television set in front of the couch.

I spend a lot of my time, usually about 40 hours a week (office and home), on the Internet. My normal activities include working, surfing, blogging, and most importantly, watching and downloading on-line videos.

With all the videos that I downloaded, it was important that I have a nice and convenient setup to view my downloaded videos.

Currently, all my videos are transferred from a download computer to an external hard disk attached to my notebook. From the notebook, I extend my desktop wirelessly to my television across the room via an audio-video transmitter.

So whenever I watch a video, I will drag the video window to the extended desktop on the television. From there, I maximize the window to full screen and watch the video from there.

I could setup a surround system, but have not gotten around to it yet. What I really need now is a wireless keyboard and a mouse to be able to control my notebook from my couch... LOL.